Will Planting Trees Reduce Global Warming?

From MasterResource

By Richard W. Fulmer — April 27, 2022

“The Earth is an unimaginably intricate system comprised of countless subsystems – many of which are poorly understood and some, probably, still unknown. The science that purports to explain those systems is unsettled and, well…, complicated.”

It’s complicated. Trees are natural carbon sinks, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But they also emit volatile chemicals that can form methane and ozone, both powerful greenhouse gases.  A 2014 study suggests that deforestation between 1850 and 2000 may have reduced volatile chemical emissions enough to “slightly offset the warming from greenhouse gas emissions.”

But it’s more complicated than that. Trees’ chemical emissions can also form aerosols that impact the climate in different ways. For instance, they can create a haze that reflects sunlight back into space. Aerosol particles may also “act as seeds for cloud droplets,” which similarly reflect sunlight away from the Earth. 

But wait, it gets even more complicated. Research suggests that arboreal aerosol emissions may decline as atmospheric CO2 concentrations increase.

Complicating the picture still further, land covered with trees tends to be darker than land covered with grass, sand, or snow. Dark surfaces trap more of the sun’s heat, warming the local climate.  Does the CO2 that trees absorb offset the heat they absorb?  It depends. According to a 2007 study, planting trees in the tropics – where they grow quickly and trap a lot of CO2 – has a net cooling effect. However, planting them in temperate areas between latitudes 50o and 60o (roughly between the U.S.-Canadian border and Fairbanks, Alaska) has either no impact, or, according to a 2022 study, a net warming effect.

The United Kingdom, all of which lies between 50o and 60o latitude, is planning to spend some £750 million ($975 million) to reforest the country by 2025. Net Zero Watch, the Global Warming Policy Forum‘s website, reports that the 2022 study “suggests that the Government’s plans are not only wasteful – and often detrimental to the environment and food security – but may actually increase global temperature, the opposite of the intended effect of the Net Zero project.” [1]

If global warming truly is an existential crisis, our solutions should, at the very least, not make it worse. Moreover, costly solutions that have little, no, or negative impacts will quickly sour the public on further ventures. An expensive misstep may be the last step a government can take in the face of angry voters.

Suppose, however, that after due research and consideration, we determine that planting trees in a certain location is beneficial. What types of trees should we plant? According to one British tree specialist,

Broadleaved species – such as oak, beech and maple – are best because they have a larger surface area of leaves which generates more photosynthesis, whereas conifers absorb more heat.

Planting a diverse mix of species will maximise the benefits of trees, as well as helping with conservation efforts such as insect and wildlife initiatives, and ensuring the landscape is better prepared for pests or diseases which could wipe out an entire species of tree in one area.

But trees absorb large amounts of groundwater, which could place an unsustainable burden on a region’s water supply. Species that can survive on little water may be the best choice.

On the other hand, elevated levels of CO2 in the atmosphere improve plant water-use efficiency, which will reduce, if not eliminate, the impact on groundwater. In addition, once established, trees can affect the water cycle and increase area rainfall. On yet another hand, while “overall, the impact of trees on rainfall is expected to be positive… it can have complex ramifications.”

As Nadine Unger a professor of atmospheric chemistry and climate modeling at the UK’s University of Exeter admitted:

The mutual relationships between forests and climate are actually really rather more complex and not fully understood.

The Earth is an unimaginably intricate system comprised of countless subsystems – many of which are poorly understood and some, probably, still unknown. The science that purports to explain those systems is unsettled and, well…, complicated.

——————

[1] The analysis herein is applicable to the Trillion Trees Act of 2021 and like proposals as a climate strategy.


Richard W. Fulmer is a principal of MasterResource and coauthor of Energy: The Master Resource (Kendall/Hunt: 2004). He thanks Craig D. Idso for helpful comments.

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Tom Halla
April 27, 2022 6:08 pm

There is so little good evidence to tell what trees would do with climate.
As something of an aside, trees and bushes drive the Los Angeles basin out of compliance with CARB’s ozone standard, by emitting too much volatile organic compounds. If one can smell a pine, or eucalyptus, or sagebrush, it is emitting VOCs. That is also the cause of the Great Smokies in Appalachia.

Scissor
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 27, 2022 6:48 pm

It’s terpene time.

Redge
Reply to  Scissor
April 27, 2022 11:19 pm

very clever

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 28, 2022 9:22 am

I remember Ronald Reagan being mocked for his observation that the Smoky Mountains were “smoky” due to chemicals emitted by the trees.

Simonsays
April 27, 2022 6:18 pm

It seems just like there are plenty of good reasons not too burn fossil fuels, and there are plenty of good reasons to plant trees. C02 is not one of them.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Simonsays
April 28, 2022 12:17 am

Give one reason not ‘too’ burn fossil fuels. Tumbleweed…

Simonsays
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
April 28, 2022 2:25 pm

Air pollution. Ever lived downwind of a coal powered power station.

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Simonsays
April 28, 2022 9:41 pm

G’Day Simon,

Ever lived downwind of a coal powered power station.

Yes. Tennyson, Brisbane, Australia. Erected in the 1950’s. From satellite photos I see it’s not there any more.

Air pollution? Fly ash. With a north-easter blowing, forget about hanging laundry on the clothes line.

LdB
Reply to  Simonsays
April 29, 2022 6:02 am

So stop using electricity or using any motorized transport .. follow your logic.

DonM
April 27, 2022 6:23 pm

“Will Planting Trees Reduce Global Warming?”
How many angles can can occupy a needles(s) point?

Scissor
Reply to  DonM
April 27, 2022 6:51 pm

Since the needle is a point, I would assume that its angle is less than about 120 degrees. If we assume that we can only measure angles to 1 degree, then the answer is 120 or less +/-.

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  Scissor
April 28, 2022 6:03 am

I think he meant to say “How many angels can dance the “Can Can” on a needle’s point?” Can you get the point?

Scissor
Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
April 28, 2022 1:56 pm

Oh, I should have guessed. 🙂

DonM
Reply to  Scissor
April 28, 2022 10:32 am

If we assume the poorly worded question relates to perspectives (angles) associated with a needless (undefined) point, the answer is ‘Your question is stupid because of the poorly defined nature and terminology of the question’.

And the follow up question is provided by Paul, below.

Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
Reply to  DonM
April 28, 2022 9:09 am

What global warming?

Gerard Flood
April 27, 2022 6:44 pm

Australian eucalypt forest emissions produce a distinctive blue haze, and the trees are notorious for the extreme volatility of their leaves.

Scissor
Reply to  Gerard Flood
April 27, 2022 6:52 pm

Is that where the name “blue mountains” comes from?

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Scissor
April 28, 2022 9:14 pm

Apparently!

Odd, as an Aussie you just grow up with the base level understanding of that is what colour the bush is. Blue/green.

It is only when I started traveling overseas that I started to experience the fact that overseas forests were a ‘different sort of green’.

Actually gotten a vague feeling of unease in some overseas areas to be honest.

LdB
Reply to  Scissor
April 29, 2022 6:03 am

If they aren’t blue then they are bright orange with flames or black and charred depending on where in the cycle they are.

DHR
April 27, 2022 6:46 pm

Methane is not “a powerful greenhouse gas” as you state. Happer and Wijngaarten have clearly established that in the earth’s atmosphere as it exists, doubling the amount of methane in it will at best cause a tiny and undetectably small increase in the earth’s temperature. Only in a hypothetical atmosphere containing no greenhouse gasses at all (no water vapor – no carbon dioxide) would adding methane cause a notable increase in temperature. This is because the frequency bands where methane can function as a greenhouse gas are at or very close to saturation because of water vapor and carbon dioxide and adding methane can have no effect.

Phillip Bratby
Reply to  DHR
April 27, 2022 10:45 pm

Spot on. But the media and vegans and greens continue spreading fake alarm about methane.

Tom Gelsthorpe
Reply to  Phillip Bratby
April 28, 2022 11:46 am

The media and vegans and greens insist that everything is bad and getting worse, it’s all our fault, and we must immediately give up all our comforts or face doomsday. It’s a newer version of ‘REPENT NOW, OR YOU WILL BE THROWN INTO A BOILING CAULDRON OF FIRE AND BRIMSTONE FOR EVER AND EVER!”

peter schell
April 27, 2022 6:51 pm

The answer to this question of how effective trees are depends on what the debate is.

If your favorite film-star is buying carbon offsets then they are super effective and the star is a climate warrior.

If you dare suggest that as a Canadian your carbon footprint is mitigated by the fact that there are over two thousand trees for every citizen, then they don’t do anything. Some might even argue that they contribute.

auto
Reply to  peter schell
April 28, 2022 11:23 am

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

And the ‘Science’ is settled (TM), too!

Auto, not too worried about infringing a watermelon’s trademark.

Boxer
April 27, 2022 7:02 pm

Apart from water balance, aerosols, and volatile compounds, any forest will relatively quickly (1 to several decades) reach a state of dynamic equilibrium where CO2 intake is equalled by CO2 emissions.

Emissions come from decomposition of organic matter – leaf litter, fallen debris – and trees also respire (that is, oxidise sugars to produce energy to drive metabolic processes) like all all living things. At night there is no photosynthesis but respiration still occurs.

As a young forest establishes, competition sets in and the leaf area per hectare reaches a maximum. From here on, the most competitive trees grow at the expense of weaker individuals and the forest starts to thin out, which means most of the trees die, and become emissions as the stand matures.

But if CO2 is a concern, growing wood and using it instead of concrete and plastic leads to a net sequestration of CO2 in buildings and furniture etc. Replant the forest and keep cycling some CO2 into long-lived materials we can use. But most climate catastrophists are also tree huggers, so I find this point doesn’t get much traction with them.

The other problem is that nearly everyone, catastrophists and sceptics alike, have become convinced that harvesting forests is an irreversible change, despite the fact that nearly all forests in rich western countries are now post-harvest regrowth. The tree huggers are now mostly fighting to conserve regrowth, which defies the “truism” that harvesting is an irreversible change. Human concepts of permanence are mostly in relation to one human lifespan or less.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Boxer
April 27, 2022 8:24 pm

Quote:any forest will relatively quickly (1 to several decades) reach a state of dynamic equilibrium where CO2 intake is equalled by CO2 emissions.

No it won’t

Clue: Where did all the fossil fuels come from. what made them?

Boxer
Reply to  Peta of Newark
April 27, 2022 9:08 pm

Coal beds were laid down in ancient forests that were much more prolific and productive than today’s forests, perhaps because CO2 concentrations were much higher. The accumulation of soil organic matter must have been rapid compared to anything we see today.
There would be very few current forests, if any, that are standing on a deep bed of organic matter – or peat – and have done so for millenia. Even those that do grow on peat soils are prone to fire, even if only every thousand years or so.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Peta of Newark
April 28, 2022 12:20 am

Well, that’s a good question. May be generated by the Earth without any life involved.

Disputin
Reply to  Peta of Newark
April 28, 2022 3:31 am

The coal beds were a very special case because no microbes had evolved to break down lignin. By the end of the Carboniferous they had, hence much fewer coal seams being laid down.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Peta of Newark
April 28, 2022 6:06 am

Another clue….they grow every year, making the tree rings that are used as temperature/moisture proxies.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Boxer
April 28, 2022 6:03 am

Thick tall forests are low albedo and absorb most of the sunlight that strikes them. That doesn’t mean they are “hot” at ground level where we humans walk around in the shade….

TonyL
April 27, 2022 7:26 pm

Sorry, everybody, forests and trees are cooling. Shade and transpiration are both cooling and are 90% of the problem.
The author then throws a laundry list of factors out and claims, like any 16 yer old girl, “It’s Complicated“.

No, it is not. The author’s laundry list of factors amounts to ~10% of the problem. The issue was decided with the 90% first. It is over and done.

This caught my eye, as a manufactured complication.
However, planting them in temperate areas between latitudes 50o and 60o (roughly between the U.S.-Canadian border and Fairbanks, Alaska) has either no impact, or, according to a 2022 study, a net warming effect.

Forests are cooling, yet they found one paper which claims “net warming”. OK, so I checked.
From the cited research paper:
Numerical modeling of paired climate simulations with contrasting forest cover is necessary to investigate the net climate response to forest cover change, including both local and non-local impacts. Model simulations have focused on idealized scenarios of large-scale deforestation/afforestation which are more likely to trigger large-scale climate feedbacks than more realistic incremental forest cover change.

Wait For It……
Wait For It……

MODELS!!!!

And finally:
we rely predominantly on modeling studies and our own calculations to elucidate the role of forests at different latitudes in shaping climate.

And it is all models, which come to a startling new conclusion.
I am sure that the readers here at WUWT are shocked, Shocked, that modelling is going on here. Just as much as Inspector Renault was Shocked.

Scissor
Reply to  TonyL
April 27, 2022 7:41 pm

Around where I live, there are oodles of bicycle trails. I notice a temperature drop of several degrees on a path that goes through a field with tall grass even with no shade. Transpiration.

BTW, the photo above the article is a ginkgo tree. Imprints of leaves of this tree have been found in coal 300 million years old.

TonyL
Reply to  Scissor
April 27, 2022 7:47 pm

BTW, the photo above the article is a ginkgo tree.

Kewl, I did not recognize the plant or know that interesting little factoid.

John Hultquist
Reply to  TonyL
April 27, 2022 8:31 pm

Once found in the (now) State of Washington, there is a Ginkgo Petrified Forest but the web site (and the place itself) is a bit confusing. A few miles to the south is the Ginkgo Forestry Winery with about 200 trees west of the building, but I don’t think they like the environment. I visited about 15 years ago. There I learned about the tree, and drank a bit of wine. Nice folks.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  John Hultquist
April 28, 2022 12:22 am

Stinky Ginkgo.

Scissor
Reply to  John Hultquist
April 28, 2022 4:48 am

That’s interesting. I’d like to visit that some day. https://www.historylink.org/File/7396

Doing some followup, I just learned that the official gem of Washington State is petrified wood.

Brad-DXT
Reply to  Scissor
April 28, 2022 9:41 am

Petrified wood is the only safe wood in Seattle. The leftists will try to burn it down anyway.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  TonyL
April 27, 2022 8:37 pm

Depends where the forest is with regard to Earth;s Energy Enjo-Cline ##

## I made that word up but it is the latitude below which Earth is a net absorber of solar energy and above which, is a net emitter, annually

Below the Enjocline, roughly 45 degrees of latitude, trees have a cooling effect.
Contrary to the verbal vomit we read here, green trees (all green things) have a high albedo.
They also transpire lots of water, having a direct cooling effect but also because that evaporated water creates clouds and rain.
The is in fact A Very Good Reason why ‘rainforests’ are so-called – something that patently escapes all members of the Fulmer and Idso families

Above 45 degrees latitude the trees have a warming effect. They shelterthe ground and themselves fromwind-driven evaporative cooling.
Plus the immense amount of water trapped/stored in themslves, their forest-floor litter and the soil under that gives the landscape Thermal Inertia
i.e Nights don’t cool so rapidly and deeply, likewise winters

Hence why when the ancient Aborigine cut/burned their forest and turned Australia into a high albedo desert – It Got Hot
Likewise for the gentle folks who created Sahara desert – both those places being at less than 45 degrees latitude.
In contrast to Henry 8th of England, who cut the forests of England and North Western Europe above 45 degrees, he triggered a Mini Ice Age

JCM
Reply to  Peta of Newark
April 27, 2022 8:50 pm

In contrast to Henry 8th of England, who cut the forests of England and North Western Europe above 45 degrees, he triggered a Mini Ice Age

Very good.

PCman999
Reply to  Peta of Newark
April 28, 2022 1:43 am

The Little Ice Age started with the year of no summer in 1305, iirc. King Henry the Syphilis Infested came about 200 years later – but he probably made things worse. Certainly closing all the monasteries and stealing all their land set back agricultural production and science. E.g. monks had developed an inexpensive method of steel production, something that had to be rediscovered about 3 centuries later.

tommyboy
April 27, 2022 7:33 pm

It’s like Schrodinger’s cat.
Trees will either cool or warm the planet depending on how the tree model is tuned.

John Hultquist
Reply to  tommyboy
April 27, 2022 8:39 pm

In the real world, in a snowy area the trunk will absorb sunlight and melt the snow and then the trunk gets warm. A dark fence post does the same and the older ones from railroad cross ties, having been treated with preservative also give off volatile chemicals.
Search for “fence posts in winter” .
Axiom: You can’t do just one thing.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  tommyboy
April 27, 2022 8:46 pm

Not really, apart from inside the heads of Really Intelligent And Well Educated Rich People = the sort of people who are sooooo clever they don’t know how to make babies.
They know that they are rich and clever because they keep telling themselves as much.

Nothing could possibly go wrong.
Apart from the bleeding obvious, low to zero baby-production means they will soon become extinct, even before, they imagine its a Really Clever Good Idea to eat sugar and wash it down with alcohol.
Thus and contrary to a popular and oft repeated meme, it is actually very easy to ‘Fix Stupid

Whether trees warm or cool depends simply on what latitude they are growing at.
That’s it.

JCM
April 27, 2022 8:33 pm

Earth system hydro-biophysical impacts far outweigh CO2 effects and will never be captured by current carbon-centric metrics.

The vegetation, soil, animals, and atmosphere are inextricably linked through the impacts on energy and hydrological cycles.

In plain terms, massively altering the surface of the Earth results in changes to the Earth system.

cbean
April 27, 2022 9:14 pm

Trees? Think premature forest fires. Bring back the beavers!

save energy
Reply to  cbean
April 28, 2022 12:56 am

Agreed, I like a nice beaver !

April 27, 2022 9:39 pm

Ja. It is the tree huggers that cause global warming
https://breadonthewater.co.za/2022/03/08/who-or-what-turned-up-the-heat/

Phillip Bratby
April 27, 2022 10:43 pm

But, but, but, the science is settled.

aussiecol
April 27, 2022 11:23 pm

 ”land covered with trees tends to be darker than land covered with grass, sand, or snow. Dark surfaces trap more of the sun’s heat, warming the local climate.”

Don’t know about that one. In the heat of the day, put hand on a rock out in the open, then put your hand on a rock under a forest canopy and tell me which one is warmer.
But the real underlying factor to counter this story is the fact most paddocks used to be forests. So to suggest planting trees is counter productive for the climate to me is garbage. 

PCman999
Reply to  aussiecol
April 28, 2022 1:50 am

True – I’d rather there be an Amazon rainforest than a Sahara desert.

It would be smarter for the UK to use that billion to plant trees and shrubs in the Sahel – the UK is already as green as can be.

Stephen Lindsay-Yule
April 27, 2022 11:38 pm

Trees absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis during the day and release carbon dioxide through respiration during the night. Winter nights are longer than summer nights releasing more carbon dioxide than absorbing during the short winter days. Carbon dioxide concentration increases between November and May and decreases between May and November. This is August where high latitude northern hemisphere concentrations are below that of lower latitude regions and the southern hemisphere. Yet human activity never stops. Clearly the biosphere dominates carbon dioxide concentrations and not human activity.

globalCO2concentrationAugSept.png
PCman999
Reply to  Stephen Lindsay-Yule
April 28, 2022 1:55 am

Yes and that cycle comes within 2-3ppm of balancing. If the Earth greened an extra 15-20% over the past 50 years, I always wondered how long before the extra vegetation would eat up that extra 3ppm.

Mike Dubrasich
April 27, 2022 11:47 pm

We have too many trees. Our forests are overstocked and catastrophically fire prone as a result. Thinning is desperately needed. We need fewer trees, not more.

I am sorry about the fake concern exhibited by the RINOs vis the Trillion Tree Initiative. It’s a joke, pandering to ignorant loonies, and impossible. There are ~3.5 million square miles in the US (including Alaska), or ~2.3 billion acres. If every single acre was planted with 100 trees (~20 foot spacing), 200 billion seedlings would suffice. A trillion trees wouldn’t fit.

Of course, every acre will not grow trees. More than half the US is desert, prairie, or steppe too dry for trees. Much of the rest is used for farming or cities or something where trees aren’t wanted. There are more forested acres today than 250 years ago. We have no spare land currently treeless that would, could, or should grow trees.

It’s an impossible non-solution to a non-problem: hand waving virtue signalling by the math/science-challenged goofies and slicks who print money with abandon. A real solution to a host of real problems would be televised caning of Congress oafs on the Capitol steps. No pain, no gain.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
April 28, 2022 12:00 am

And there’s the asinine assumption that planted trees don’t burn, which of course they do, thereby negating (reversing) any carbon capture, albedo change, or rain effect.

An equally sensible plan: Congress could order up a trillion ice cubes to cool the planet. Equal in the sense that zero equals zero.

PCman999
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
April 28, 2022 2:16 am

Knowing government bureaucracy, the trillion saplings will die in the greenhouses while the lawyers work through all the environmental lawsuits because the tree will be of the wrong type, or will involve billions of tons of co2 emissions to plant them, and fertilizer and pesticides to maintain them.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  PCman999
April 28, 2022 7:50 am

Bare root tree seedlings cost about $.50 each at the nursery, and planting them costs about the same. So a buck a tree, or One Trillion Dollars for a trillion trees.

A trillion dollars!!!!! For a wokey joke plan guaranteed to fail utterly in every way. Read the names and affiliations of the sponsors. They are all flaming RINOs. Everyone is hoping for a GOP landslide next Nov, but *Warning*, they are just as corrupt and stupid as the Dems.

guidoLaMoto
April 27, 2022 11:59 pm

Will someone more lerned than me please clarify–

Weather includes metrics of atm temperture. Temperature is a mesure of the average kinetic energy of the involved molecules (PV = nRT)….A tree creates shade, and it’s cooler in it;s shade than if the tree weren’t there… The leaves reflect or absorb some photons, re-emitting them in evaporated/transpired (but cooler) water vapor …But what happens to all the photons “blocked” by the tree? …Do those still photons contribute to the total warming of the air?

In similar manner, photons absorbed by co2 in the vibrational mode are re-emitted at the same frequency, therefore can only be absorbed again by another co2 molecule, not O2 or N2 (99% of the atm)…Vibrational energy does not contribute to translational energy (temp measured by a thermometer)….Satellites don’t measure temperature. They measure EM at certain wavelenghts and a temperature value is calculated by applying the Stephan-Boltzmann principle….So– is the atm warming (possibly due to cyclic release of energy stored in the oceans) AND absorbing more EM at 15um, or is it warming BECAUSE it’s retaining more EM at 15um?

PCman999
Reply to  guidoLaMoto
April 28, 2022 2:08 am

Water vapour also loves emissions at 15um and vastly outnumbers CO2 in most places (except the Sahara or Antarctica for example) so any photons at that wavelength are all going to be absorbed and re-emitted many many times and ultimately won’t make it out of the atmosphere.

The atmosphere transmission profile shows no em at that wavelength makes it out. Also shows that more CO2 would have no effect because all the co2 bands are mostly covered by water vapour already.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  PCman999
April 28, 2022 6:33 am

Minor correction…..Usually the ground-emitted photon is absorbed, and the energy distributed to surrounding molecules by collision, before enough time for reemission can occur. This is against a relatively low level background of photons emitted and received by absorber/emitter molecules with an energy corresponding to their Planck energy at the temperature of the atmosphere they reside in.

John Shotsky
Reply to  guidoLaMoto
April 28, 2022 7:24 am

First of all, photons are never ‘re-emitted’. This is a common error in thinking that is seen everywhere. The fact is that when a photon is absorbed, it is no longer a photon, it simply changes the energy level of the molecule that absorbed it. The increased energy level means the molecule is more likely to emit a photon than it was before absorbing one. A molecule may absorb more than one photon without emitting one, depending on starting energy level of that molecule.
Further, if the molecule collides with a lower-energy molecule (as when a Co2 molecule collides with an N molecule) energy will likely exchange, from the higher energy molecule to the lower energy molecule. Thus, a photon may not be emitted at all, if sufficient collisions exist to ‘de-energize’ the elevated molecule. Considering that there are 2400 inert molecules in air to every Co2 molecule, these collisions are more likely than photon emissions from the Co2 molecules. But, if the Co2 molecule DOES emit a photon, it will either be directed at earth or space. So, at most, 1/2 the photons emitted by Co2 are earth-directed. (Ever see that in a model? Didn’t think so.)
Finally, when photons collide with ‘things’, one of three things happen: One, the photon is absorbed, if the object molecule is in the proper vibrational range (frequency). Two, the photon is deflected, meaning it is more like a pool ball, and simply changes direction and continues. Third, it may be reflected – like a tennis ball hitting a wall. That’s it.

Scissor
Reply to  John Shotsky
April 28, 2022 1:59 pm

Thank you.

guidoLaMoto
Reply to  John Shotsky
April 28, 2022 11:21 pm

“Finally, when photons collide with ‘things’, one of three things happen: One, the photon is absorbed, if the object molecule is in the proper vibrational range (frequency). Two, the photon is deflected, meaning it is more like a pool ball, and simply changes direction and continues. Third, it may be reflected – like a tennis ball hitting a wall. That’s it.”

But the “extra” energy absorbrd by the co2 is in the vibrational mode, not the translational, so how is it transferred to another non-co2 as translational (kinetic) energy? …(Ever wonder why food warmed in the microwave cools off so quickly?)

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  guidoLaMoto
April 29, 2022 5:23 am

No, never noticed microwaved food cools more quickly than food heated the conventional way.
And I do not buy it for a second.

John Shotsky
April 28, 2022 5:31 am

Plants emit more than 10 times the CO2 that humans emit. If human emissions dropped to zero, no one would notice, nor would the earth notice.
Plants release more carbon dioxide into atmosphere than expected – ANU

“Plants use photosynthesis to capture carbon dioxide and then release half of it into the atmosphere through respiration. Plants also release oxygen into the atmosphere through photosynthesis.
Professor Owen Atkin from ANU said the study revealed that the release of carbon dioxide by plant respiration around the world is up to 30 per cent higher than previously predicted.
He said the carbon dioxide released by plants every year was now estimated to be about 10 to 11 times the emissions from human activities, rather than the previous estimate of five to eight times.”

Since the IPCC charter is ONLY interested in HUMAN-CAUSED climate change, you will not find this kind of information in their publications. The human-caused climate change is infinitesimal compared to the natural climate change, but again, they MAGNIFY the human-caused “anything” because that is what they are focused on. NO natural form of climate change is of the slightest interest to the IPCC.

JCM
Reply to  John Shotsky
April 28, 2022 6:08 am

The carbon cycle is a red herring creating a false problem definition. Consensus climate scientists safeguard the problem definition that matches their expertise. They have been taught that carbon dioxide is the ‘control knob’ for temperature, and they will defend this to the grave. They will dismiss all other factors of change, which include both natural and human caused changes to the Earth system. It is no longer a matter of thinking, they are more concerned with defending.

I am often surprised when they resist hypotheses which include human causal factors that are outside the scope of their CO2 ideations. They prefer to create a false dichotomy of human caused CO2 vs ‘Natural’ factors. It is because they have been trained how to counter such arguments. But of course (what we have all failed to recognize) this is a false framework for understanding.

It is they who prefer a playing field that consists of Natural causal factors vs CO2 optical effects. By arguing in such a way dissenters play right into their hand.

I tend to get a stumble and stutter in response when I ask about other human caused factors of change in the climate system, beyond greenhouse gas effects. They do not have a pre-packaged debunking response for such questions. It is clear to see new parts of their brain starting to fire, but alas they always retreat back to their comfort zone. Their wiring requires that any other causal factors must manifest as a greenhouse gas effect. It is hard to watch and some small part of me feels sorry for them.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  John Shotsky
April 28, 2022 6:38 am

The ANU study is actually another “it’s worse than we thought” effort….

ResourceGuy
April 28, 2022 5:44 am

More importantly, will pelletizing trees and shipping them long distance to be burned for tax advantages reduce global warming?

Gordon A. Dressler
April 28, 2022 7:25 am

But wait, it gets yet more complicated.

“The greening of the lands during the first fifteen years in the 21st century represented an additional heat dissipation (2.97×1021 J) from the surface equivalent to five times the total energy produced and used by humans in 2015 (5.71×1020 J). This greening-induced cooling effect was twenty-five times stronger than the warming effect caused by tropical deforestation.
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/greening-of-the-earth-mitigates-surface-warming (my underlining emphasis added)

“The Earth has become five percent greener in 20 years.”
https://www.warpnews.org/human-progress/nasa-the-earth-is-greener-now-than-it-was-20-years-ago/

“From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25 {2016–GD}
“Studies have shown that increased concentrations of carbon dioxide increase photosynthesis, spurring plant growth. . . . However, carbon dioxide fertilization isn’t the only cause of increased plant growth—nitrogen, land cover change and climate change by way of global temperature, precipitation and sunlight changes all contribute to the greening effect. . . . Results showed that carbon dioxide fertilization explains 70 percent of the greening effect . . .”
—https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/carbon-dioxide-fertilization-greening-earth
(again, my underlining emphasis added)

So, paying no mind to what humans think they know about climate change™, nature goes on her merry way of employing complicated physical couplings and feedback mechanisms to tightly regulate Earth’s climate, as has been done since the Holocene optimum some 8,000 years ago.

Last edited 5 months ago by Gordon A. Dressler
Matthew Sykes
April 28, 2022 7:39 am

No, but it is platitudinous crap that will keep the eco deranged happy.

DaveinCalgary
April 28, 2022 8:29 am

Over 20 years, I supervised the planting of over 100 million trees in Canada and know a few things about the subject. What entertains me is that people don’t seem to consider what was growing in the spot before you planted the tree there.

If we are not talking desert and marginal areas, and unless you are converting a paved surface or an abandoned gravel pit, something was already growing there. Probably grass or understory that was maximizing all available nutrients, moisture, CO2 and sunlight. Planting a tree there really just changes the user of those nutrients, moisture, CO2 and sunlight. Grass is extremely efficient at storing Carbon (imagining this is your goal for some reason.) The reason for the existing commercial tree planting operations is maximize the preference for certain species namely trees that will have commercial value in 60 years.

There is simple way to sort out the complexities of increases in humidity due to transpiration rates versus albedo effects and ground shading etc. Go to an area where forest and grasslands merge and watch birds of prey rising in the thermals created over the non forested areas. A child can see the difference.

Bruce Cobb
April 28, 2022 9:40 am

Not enough hands.

Michael in Dublin
April 28, 2022 9:49 am

How can anyone who loves nature especially trees and plants hate CO2 when they absolutely love CO2? They must be crazy mixed up kids.

Brad-DXT
April 28, 2022 10:24 am

I like trees. I grow acres of them.
They are beautiful, smell good, provide food and habitat for lots of critters. Those are enough reasons to grow them without the need to come up a bunch of crap about Global Warming.

meiggs
Reply to  Brad-DXT
April 29, 2022 5:21 am

Red Oak and White Ash make great firewood too. And White Oak makes good whiskey.

Brad-DXT
Reply to  meiggs
April 29, 2022 4:03 pm

I’ve got mostly White Oak so maybe I should see about a deal with Jack Daniels. 🥃

RickWill
April 28, 2022 4:08 pm

All the climate prognosticating institutes have specifications for placing weather measuring instruments that exclude placing them under a tree. Trees are known to moderate the local climate – cooler highs, warmer lows, higher humidity but less rainfall directly under the canopy.

Deep forests with humus rich soils increase the atmospheric water. Once TPW exceeds 45mm, the atmosphere will support deep convection. Deep convection over land will create a mid level convergence zone drawing more moisture from the oceans to increase precipitation. Trees over a large area bring more rain.

Replacing trees with wind turbines will Saharise the location and eventually the whole planet taken to its conclusion by the CO2 demonisers.

guidoLaMoto
Reply to  RickWill
April 28, 2022 11:28 pm

Do trees produce more rain, or do trees grow where there is more rain?…Ever wonder why ecological succession hasn’t turned The Great Plaines into forest over these past 12,000 yrs?

Tom Kennedy
April 30, 2022 5:07 am

At a recent woodland and wildlife conference the Virginia Dept. of Forestry stated that the forests in Virginia had increased over the last few decades and now covers 62% of the states land. They warned however that given the policy of moving to solar power (democrats pushed through plans for 500,000 acres of solar farms) that the amount of forested lands is now decreasing.

Walter Sobchak
April 30, 2022 10:24 am

As Nadine Unger a professor of atmospheric chemistry and climate modeling at the UK’s University of Exeter admitted:

The mutual relationships between forests and climate are actually really rather more complex and not fully understood.

Which translated into English means: “Please give us money”.

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